Update (1215ET): Following Judge Lamberth's comments, President Trump to Twitter on Saturday, tweeting:
"Wow, I finally agree with failed political consultant Steve Schmidt, who called Wacko John Bolton “a despicable man who failed in his duty to protect America.” Also stated that he should never be allowed to serve in government again. So true! Plain and simple, John Bolton, who was all washed up until I brought him back and gave him a chance, broke the law by releasing Classified Information (in massive amounts). He must pay a very big price for this, as others have before him. This should never to happen again!!! :
.....who was all washed up until I brought him back and gave him a chance, broke the law by releasing Classified Information (in massive amounts). He must pay a very big price for this, as others have before him. This should never to happen again!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2020
The comments were followed by: "BIG COURT WIN against Bolton. Obviously, with the book already given out and leaked to many people and the media, nothing the highly respected Judge could have done about stopping it...BUT, strong & powerful statements & rulings on MONEY & on BREAKING CLASSIFICATION were made...
...Bolton broke the law and has been called out and rebuked for so doing, with a really big price to pay. He likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them. Now he will have bombs dropped on him!"
....Bolton broke the law and has been called out and rebuked for so doing, with a really big price to pay. He likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them. Now he will have bombs dropped on him!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2020
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Update (06/20/2020): Judge Lamberth has denied the Justice Department's request to immediately block distribution of Bolton's book - saying the DOJ "has not established that an injunction is an appropriate remedy."
That said, Lamberth added that upon review of the classified materials in the book, Bolton "likely jeopardized national security" by disclosing classified info, and that the government is likely to succeed in its case against the former National Security Adviser.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Lamberth said that Bolton's "unilateral conduct" to publish his memoir raises "grave national security concerns."
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As the White House's challenge to the publication of John Bolton's book on National Security grounds winds its way through the federal courts, the judge overseeing the case said during a hearing on Friday that neither side may walk away with a clear victory.
At this point, the judge conceded, there's nothing to be done to suppress the information in the book. Its most salacious claims have already been made public thanks to a series of coordinated leaks.
But the courts can still strip Bolton of the right to profit from sales of the book, since he walked away from a final review.
Here's more from Bloomberg:
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton likely jumped the gun in submitting his tell-all memoir on President Donald Trump for publication, but it’s probably too late to stop the sales of the book, a federal judge said.
"The horse seems to be out of the barn" with hundreds of thousands of copies already circulating, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in Washington said at a hearing over the government’s request to block the book’s release on June 23.
Lamberth didn’t rule on the request but his comments indicate neither side in the dispute is set for a clear victory. While Bolton may succeed in getting the book out to the public, he may not get any profits from it as Lamberth said that Bolton walked away from a pre-publication review without getting the final sign-off as required.
Bolton’s lawyer Chuck Cooper said Bolton followed his contract “not just in spirit, but to the letter.” But Lamberth jumped in and disagreed, saying that’s not true. Bolton "went out on his own," the judge said. "I don’t really understand why he decided to take that risk."
Lamberth said he’ll hold another hearing on the dispute, in private.
The judge also castigated Bolton's legal team over their client's penchant for stirring up drama by "going out on his own" during the middle of a high stakes review with the country's national security interests at stake.
It's almost as if Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might have a point.
But even if the book does make it to shelves without any issues, Bolton's sales might not be as high as he and his publisher probably hope.